40% of Android apps pose security concerns, study finds

A large percentage of apps for Android-powered devices pose security concerns, according to new research.

The Webroot Threat Research team analyzed nearly six million mobile applications, and hundreds of thousands of mobile infections between 2011 and 2013. The result of their findings was published in the Webroot Mobile Threat Report. According to an article at CIO, the report also contains the result of data from approximately 125,000 customers who activated Webroot's Lost Device Protection feature.

"Webroot found that Android poses a greater security risk than iOS," the article notes. "Webroot identified a 384 percent increase in total threats to Android devices over 2012, and found more than 40 percent of the Android apps analyzed were classified as either malicious, suspicious or unwanted."

In dramatic contrast, the report says that more than 90 percent of the million-plus iOS apps that Webroot assessed were labeled as "benign." Another seven percent were labeled as "trustworthy". And only one percent was identified as "moderate" risks.

"The lower instance of suspicious or malicious apps is a function of the vetting process developers must go through before apps are made available in the Apple App Store," the article said.

In addition to measuring the degree to which apps pose a concern, the report looks at which types of apps are the highest and lowest risks. Arcade and action games for Android pose the greatest risk--with infection rates one-and-a-half times that of general commercial apps (which came in second). Ranking third are entertainment apps.

For more:
- read the CIO article

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